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1,627 Italy Tour & Trip Reviews

1,627
Italy Tour & Trip Reviews 99% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 3,459 Great 1,130 Average 189 Disappointing 36 Terrible 18
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.6

Tour Reviews

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L

Recommends

Scenery and countries were worth it! August 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
This trip let you see the gist of each country and was perfect pace with only a little time to get ready. It was the group that really added to my experience and I would definitely do this again if given the choice to go back in time. One things for sure though, it's on the more expensive side of things... You NEED to do all the add on activities okay! That's what MAKES the trip!

here is my youtube video : LiveLaughElizabeth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtAUc9SN2RQ&lc=z221j1nhwkfwfjgeaacdp435p3lpgouedxcj3fpwp2xw03c010c
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A

Recommends

FUNNEST GAP TOUR EVER! July 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This Topdeck was so much fun, with it being the leaders last trip the chefs first trip and everyone else on the bus being 18 on a GAP year it was one to remember!
Unfortunately we missed out on Nice as we were in Paris heading to Nice on Bastille day, the day of the drive through attack. Topdeck took a good step forward and moved us to Switzerland earlier and we had an extra day there and in Florence instead! They had the best facts and took us to the best places. Our leader Amanda would tell us the most important facts of the trip show us where to party and where to stay safe and let us do our own thing at night!
Would highly recommend!
Check out my Topdeck here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB_uiN6dOOc&lc=z221j1nhwkfwfjgeaacdp4302urkdwx33xmfi0u45j1w03c010c
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R

Recommends

Great Experience July 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The tour was amazing. A lot of great hikes and views travelling from France-Italy-Switzerland. Really enjoyed how organised the trip was and down to earth the people were.

R

Recommends

Great Experience July 2018

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The tour was amazing. A lot of great hikes and views travelling from France-Italy-Switzerland. Really enjoyed how organised the trip was and down to earth the people were.

E

Recommends

I had the time of my life!! June 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
I booked the Amalfi Coast trip for my summer break. I had so much fun during the Amalfi Coast tour and our guides were fabulous! I would highly recommend this to anyone who is visiting Italy, especially for the first time!!
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DND

Recommends

We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! June 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The tour through Venice, Florence, Cortona, and Rome exceeded our expectations. Absolutely everything was FIRST CLASS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We gave it 5 stars only because there aren’t 6. The published itinerary was delivered in spades with special additions, sometimes twice a day. We never touched luggage, as it was moved for us from location to location. We never had to deal with tickets for transportation or museums. The local, private guides were super. The included dinners and wine were superb. This is a no driving, hassle free tour. We are planning to take another Story Small Group tour.

AND, as a special treat, the owner of the company was our tour captain. We tried several things that may be included in future itineraries. In the course of 9 days nothing flustered him. Everything was taken in stride, dealt with and resolved quickly. Nothing interfered with his fantastic service to his guests. We were not customers in any sense of the word. There was never a hint that Story was trying to watch the budget.

For those of you reading this and trying to decide, there are some things you need to consider. (When you have questions, call. You'll find that the Story help line is very knowledgeable and helpful.)

Small group - There were 15 people on our tour (16 is maximum). The tour caption had the time to get to know all of us. We saw lots of groups that appeared to be 40-50 people! You get to decide which is best for you. The smaller group = higher cost. We thought that it was easily worth it.

Walking - There is a lot of walking on this tour. There is always the option to use a taxi to get from place to place (extra cost). Some of the people on the tour with us had apps to count steps. Most showed more than 10,000 at noon time! MANY of those steps are on stairs and rough/cobble stone streets. Many of the stairs are inside attractions - not between them – so they can’t be avoided. By the end of our nine days, some tour group members were opting out of some planned activities. Opinion: If you can't complete a three mile walk, over uneven terrain, at a three mph pace (that's faster than most people walk), comfortably; get in shape. You’ll never do a constant three mile walk, on the tour – but it’ll feel like it.

Weather - We had fantastic weather! Temperature in the mid/low 70's and two sprinkles in nine days. Mostly sunshine. A great time to go.

Crowds - On the other hand, it wasn't such a great time to go. The crowds of tourists were overwhelming, everywhere except Cortona. I.E.: Our private, skip-the-line guided tour of the Vatican was especially BAD. We waited in line for about an hour and then once inside, we were literally shoulder to shoulder for the remaining two - three hours. It was nearly impossible to enjoy/understand what we were seeing. We spent more time trying to keep in sync with the group than looking at the art. The Sistine Chapel was NOT worth the time it took to get there. This was not something that Story could control. If the Vatican is important to you, go some other time of the year! If you are there during the busy season, opt out. There are thousands of fantastic things to see in Rome that won't be busy.

Security - We had a tour guide point out a small group of gypsy/pick-pockets as we exited the Vatican and steered us around them. That was the only "issue" in nine days - not a big deal. But, we were reminded to be "vigilant" many times - especially around crowds.

Navigation - Venice, Florence and Rome are VERY difficult to get around. There are many streets/alleys that run in apparently random directions. The maps available through hotels/tourist agents are not in adequate detail. Consider a hand-held GPS navigation system MANDITORY. Our phone did not have cell connectivity, so we down loaded the Google map. It worked once. Be very careful that you have a navigation device that works! Download a local map and test, test, test in airplane mode (?) before you go.

Driving – If you are going to Italy and renting a car, during the busy season, Venice allows no cars, problem solved. Driving in Florence and ESPECIALLY Rome is crazy. You've been forewarned.

Hotels - As it says, the hotels are in the center of the city/attractions. For example: the hotel in Rome was 200 feet from the Pantheon! This means that some of the buildings are more than 1,500 years old. You'll get used to seeing corners that you'd think should be 90 degrees, but aren't. Be prepared to spend time learning how things work and how to find your room - it'll be different from hotel to hotel and what you are used to! WiFi worked good in each hotel, except Rome. (See review of Grand Hotel de Minirva on TripAdvisor)
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S

Does Not Recommend

HORRIBLE MONEY HUNGRY BUSINESS March 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I went on a Topdeck trip it was wonderful. Then I tried to book another trip at a great rate I found online from Stride Travel. Stride Travel is a reputable website that is new to partnering up with Topdeck. However, Topdeck didn't want to give me the better rate so they made up all these lies about me on why they couldn't book me then told me they couldn't discuss it. It's either they have something against Americans or they are just money hungry scam artists. Total false advertisement. 1 Star for Topdeck for this issue
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C

Recommends

We had a wonderful trip! February 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
We had such a wonderful time on a tou! Excellent hotels, a lot of activities and interesting guides, fast paced adventure with some free time that was really nice and we visited all the cities in Europe I was dreaming about in one trip!
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IT

Recommends

Great Tour December 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved all of the locations. Small group and personalized attention.

MF

Recommends

AESU was amazing to travel with! November 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Traveling with AESU was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. They kept the trip organized and on scheduale and made sure we were all very safe while giving us so many opportunities to explore on our own as well as with our tour group. The adventures and sites we went and did and saw were life changing and I would give anything to go back with this company. I wouldn’t have traded my experience for anything. I definitely recommend traveling with AESU!!!
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Tour AESU Travel Company Reviews

M

Recommends

Everything I Hoped For And More November 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0
This tour was amazing! I am a fairly well traveled person but this trip was like nothing I'd ever experienced. The guide was really knowledgeable, helpful and just so nice. I just cannot get over how much we were able to do and see on this journey, it beyond surpassed my expectations. Every included meal was phenomenal, every included excursion and museum/historical site visit was incredible and informative, and every person on this tour was just awesome. I made so many new friends. I wouldn't change a thing about the experience, I wish I was leaving tomorrow and going on the whole thing all over again. I have to say I was so thankful I chose to do the full tour and stay through to Greece, it was BEAUTIFUL. I would highly recommend doing the full tour and try to participate in as many optional excursions as you can!
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Tour AESU Travel Company Reviews

B

Recommends

Great Until London July 2017

4.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
We just returned from the European Dream vacation. My wife and I had a wonderful time, except for London. The website advertises this trip as 10 days, but we felt abandoned on day 8 when we were delivered to Hotel Kensington in London. We no longer had our excellent tour director, and we were left on our own for the remainder of the trip. The tour director spun this by saying we purchased an extension to London, but that is not how it was advertised on Trafalgar's website. She also said that another tour director would be taking over for her in London and all would be great. It was not. There was no tour director, but a Trafalgar concierge at the hotel who was only there for 3 hours a day to give out maps of London. I should have known that something was up when we had to fill out our final survey for the trip on day 8 before we arrived in London. If we would have been given the option of trying to explore London on our own or end the trip in Paris, we would have left on day 8.
Overall, the trip was great. However, we did not receive the "Trafalgar Experience" on the last part of the trip which left us frustrated and disappointed.
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Tour Trafalgar Company Reviews

K

Does Not Recommend

Expensive trip for what we got June 2017

4.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 1.0
Went on this trip with my wife and my sister. First off the positives.
Europe is quite different from North America. History is abundant, the Europe experience is really interesting. Visited many very historic sites, cities, monuments and many amazing structures such as the Colessium, Palletine hill, fountains, Leaning tower of Pisa, so many structures and areas it is hard to name them all, but all amazing. Overall the three week trip kept us busy and we learned much about past cultures.

Now the negatives
Upon our first group meeting we met our guide, or so we thought as she informed us she was our "leader" not our guide. I never thought much of it at the time, but as the trip progressed I understood more what she meant.
Our "leaders" name was Lauren Nichols, young lady from England. To start off, Lauren was a very bad communicator. Our group was made up of seven people, and very rarely were we informed of what was going too happen during a day we were scheduled to travel. Our first travel day was when we left Rome to head to Luca I believe, We had never travelled on a train in Europe and did not know what to expect, Lauren did do a quick explanation of how to read the train schedule board, but this was while we were walking through the busy Rome terminal, there was no explaination what we were supposed to do with our luggage when we got on the train. Any questions that were asked were just either ignored or quickly answered so she didn't get bugged anymore. This pretty much was the case throughout the trip. We were basically forced to just follow her through terminal and city metros trying to keep up and not really know where we were going. Once we would arrive at our destination there was no direction as to how far we had to walk from the train stations to our accommodations, again follow and try to keep up while dragging your luggage through the streets. At no time did she ever make an effort to inform us as a group what the day travel would entail. Became very frustrating near the trips final week, very stressful when moving through big city train stations. Once we made it o our accommodations, it was a 15-20 minute turn around and we were expected to be ready to go for our orientation walk, which was as fast as she could make it so we could get to our "free time", more so she could get to hers. Any interesting sites we passed on these walks was quickly passed by and we told to go back on our own, even when the group was ok with stopping to take pictures, which everyone wanted to do.
I my opinion, Lauren wanted to complete her duties as our " leader" as fast as possible so she could be on her own. When we were in Stressa we met her boyfriend who came to the hotel we were staying at and had supper with our group.
As far as the accommodations I felt they were the cheapest possible options that Intrepid could come up with. In Luca there were five of us staying in one apartment, and my sister had to stay in the laundry room where a bed was placed, very under whelming for the cost of the trip. Our guide always had a room to herself, or was housed with the smaller part of the group.

I myself will never use Intrepid again and will certainly NOT recommend this company to anyone. The guide and accommodations were the two issues that were very lacking, but overall the countries and sites were wonderful. If we ever return to Europe I would plan the trip ourselves, not that hard once we experienced it, and using a competent travel agent hotels would easily be done on your own.

The overall experience in Europe was favourable, some stress but we really enjoyed the month we were there, no thanks to our guide.
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UP

Recommends

Outstanding experience! A few tips and thoughts on Barcelona to Rome. April 2017

5.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
As with all small group travel, your group and tour leader have a lot to do with whether or not you have an enjoyable tour. For this trip, we were lucky enough to have a great group and an absolutely amazing tour leader. Adrian (tour leader) was a huge part of why this tour was a resounding success!

Just a couple thoughts on this particular trip:

- Bring a suitcase! Don't buy the hype and strap a big old backpack to yourself. You'll regret it (trust me). A suitcase is easier and quicker to pack than a backpack. True, many streets in older areas of European cities have cobblestones. If your suitcase has wheels, you're probably ok on these streets and sidewalks. The trek between train station and hotel can be quite a haul in some instances. As long as you can safely carry your luggage up and down a flight of about 30 stairs and lift it above your head on occasion to store it in the train, you're fine. If you can't lift and/or carry your suitcase for these short distances, you have either packed too much stuff or you just might not be in shape to make this trip. We had a group of 10 travelers and 8 brought suitcases. Hauling a loaded backpack up and down train station stairs and from station to hotel and back was way more effort than it was worth.

- Don't be afraid to sample the local cuisine (sometimes). Following local customs and eating local dishes is part of why you travel. That being said, there is a reason some of these traditional dishes haven't become worldwide sensations. Some of them just aren't that great. It's hard to know what you'll enjoy ahead of time, but trust your gut and try things you wouldn't normally try at home. Just don't be shocked if, every once in awhile, you don't ask for seconds.

- Wear comfortable shoes! We're not talking about shoes that are soft and comfy while walking around the house. We're talking shoes that can keep your feet intact while walking uneven surfaces and pounding those previously mentioned cobblestone streets and sidewalks for extended distances and periods of time every single day. Imagine a strenuous 7-8km hike in the mountains over rocks of all shapes and sizes. Now imagine walking your ever-loving backside off through town the very next day, and every day after that. You absolutely need shoes that will hold up to a lot of walking. I would advise bringing two pair of shoes for this trip. Better yet, get yourself used to walking long distances in your shoes of choice prior to the trip. You'll be glad you did.

- European bandaids suck. Bring your own. You will end up with a blister, or ten. If you don't bring your own adhesive bandages, you will not enjoy the outcome.

- Bring an extra t-shirt or two, a couple extra pairs of underwear, and enough socks to last until the apocalypse. There are opportunities to have your laundry washed while on this trip but you really don't want to run short of the essentials. I also found time to sneak off to a laundromat for an hour. You don't want to be the stinky one in the group. :)

- The stars of the trip for me, supply-wise: Febreze, an awesome travel adapter with 4 USB ports, a lightweight day pack, a travel wallet that attached securely to my belt, my own soap, and earplugs.

- Things I wish I had brought with me: a couple washcloths (You won't find any in these hotels), another pair of shorts, more bandaids, and a wheeled suitcase.

- Oh, I almost forgot. Get your phone/data situation figured out ahead of time. If your cellular provider offers coverage while you're in Europe for a somewhat reasonable cost, take advantage of it. If not, make certain to plan ahead and locate a reputable big-name cell service provider store as soon as your arrive. 15-20 bucks will get you a couple GB of data. Wifi is available in your hotel but you need data to use Google Maps. You need Google Maps. Trust me on this one. Download the areas you will be visiting for offline use before your trip. If you don't know how to do this, search the internet. Do not try to navigate any of these cities without some assistance. You will get lost. Guaranteed.

That's about it, I think. All in all, awesome trip! If you are lucky enough to have Adrian as your tour leader, enjoy! Your group plays a huge role in how much you enjoy this trip. Make sure you contribute positively to the group. Make friends. Go out of your way to make sure others have a good trip as well. Try new things. Enjoy the tremendous scenery. Know your limits but be willing to push them here and there. Good luck and safe travels!

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TR

Recommends

Exodus Travels are amazing!! Had a wonderful time, 5 stars February 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0
An amazing cross country skiing trip with great people and lovely food! Loved every minute of it, the only criticism is that it went too quickly- still wish I was there now.
Would love to come again, would definitely recommend exodus travels to anyone!!
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Italy tours reviewed on Stride are rated 99% positively. Italy can be a tough country to pace well, and most reviewers seemed pleased with how their Italy tour was laid out. Local food and accommodation options get a shout out from most reviewers, saying this experience enhanced their Italy tour.

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times